The Legends of Mathio

By Bob Burlestein

Copyright (c) 2001 Bob Burlestein

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Chapter 4

            Mathio woke. He stood up and looked around. He looked at the ground. Most of it was covered with human entrails and bones. He shuddered. Something flew at him, tearing a piece of flesh from Mathio. Mathio clenched his teeth and kept from screaming. He waited for the creature to dive at him again.  It circled in the air, eying this fresh meal that stood on the ground. He drooled and dove again.

Mathio was ready. He pulled out his plasma gun and sent the creature to the depths of hell with just one shot. The plasma cartridge was losing its glow. He stuck it into the recharger in his pocket so it could charge up again. 

He hid behind two large rocks and slept. Zrak was already upon the city. He had bombarded the city with rockets until the outside walls were weak. The he stormed the inside and took total control.  He killed all of the men and imprisoned the women and children in the dungeons.

Zrak was pleased with himself. Nightfall came, and he allowed himself and several others to rest. The sun shined down on the desert wastelands on which Mathio lay. He grunted and woke up. He was no longer in a rock, but in a prison cell.

He stood up and walked over to the bars. He looked out into the hallway. No guards or anyone. “Sit. There is no way to be free of this place.”

Mathio turned around. There, sitting on a cot was a skinny pale man. He had raggy clothes that looked 15 years old. He smiled and revealed his ancient yellow teeth.

“Trust me laddie, I have tried everything there is to try.” He added, “Plus a little more.” He pulled his pant leg up and a scar 3 inches long ran down it. “For you see, you are in the prison of Arasmos de Castazalavala, the evil emperor of the Northern and Southern wastelands of earth.

”After the humans had destroyed Earth with their technology, Arasmos came from the neverworlds with large armies and destroyed all the machines.” The man cleared his throat and continued, “He took control and slaughtered innocent bystanders. Personally, I fled after seeing my parents slain. I was captured later and I’ve been in this dump ever since.”

Mathio thought deeply about the old man’s story, but shook his head. “Old man, we will escape. What do they serve for dinner here?” “Broccoli and Bread.” Mathio thought again. “I know this seems unusual, but do they serve silverware or plastic eating utensils?”

The old man scratched his shaggy beard. “Yes, I believe so. Why?” “I will show you after lunch, allright? But for now, let us rest.”

Mathio walked over to his cot, lay down and dozed off instantly. The old man was right behind him, dreaming wearily. At lunchtime the next day, they had indeed served Broccoli and Bread. Mathio took 4 forks and put them in his prison pocket.

Right afterward the prison warden yelled, “QUIET!” Everyone hushed except Mathio. He burped loudly. The warden raised his eyebrows and walked over to the new one.

“Hey tough guy, lay off the belching, got it?’ the warden turned around.

Mathio gulped in some air and belched again, even more loudly. The warden turned around. “Listen to me, you little prick. If you don’t like my orders around here, then I’ll have you thrown in solitary confinement for the rest of your pitiful life. Understand?”

Mathio and the old man were dragged back to their cells. Mathio stood at the bars and waited until the guards were gone. When they were, Mathio pulled out the plastic forks he had taken. He broke off three spines at the end of the forks he was given. He pushed two in the bottom part of the lock and 1 and the top. Then, he turned it slowly.

The door opened, and Mathio and the Old man crept away. Zrak had continued to march past the city. He had vowed to destroy everything in his path, and he would do so.

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